London Store 111 Essex Road , London, N1 2SL, UK
- Kid-centric furniture and home decor.
- An amazing array of crafts and workshops.
- Party goods for decorating, baking, gifting and dress-up.
111 Essex Road
WHAT WE LOVE
A gorgeous children’s shop with a beautiful selection of furniture, home decor, toys, craft activities, gifts & party supplies. Molly Meg also host creative workshops and events for the whole family. Founded first as an online store by children’s wear designer Molly-Meg Price, the brick & mortar was established in 2015 in London’s fashionable Islington neighborhood.
"I started the shop online eleven years ago and built the business slowly whilst working full time as a designer."
Why did you name the shop Molly Meg? It’s my name and originally I was planning to design a range of children’s clothing under the Molly Meg label.
What is Molly Meg best known for? Children’s Interiors, art & craft activites, new baby gifts and party supplies. We are the only UK retailer of some brands including Numero 74, Nobodinoz, and Garbo and Friends and customers seek us out for their beautiful range of hand crafted interiors and children’s accessories. Molly Meg hosts regular craft workshops in the store and offers a range of craft kits for children as young as 18 months to adults. We are also a destination for party supplies including tableware, decorations and dress up.
What are Molly Meg’s bestsellers? At the moment it is our Colour block back packs from Japan. I have had a few adults trying to squeeze into these. Collapsible stacking storage crates which come in different sizes and a whole rainbow of colours. Customers usually buy a couple and then end up finding uses for them all over the house and coming back to us for more. Flavoured lip balms, a super soft velvet lion cushion, our vast range of party supplies by Meri Meri and homewares by Numero 74, Nobodinoz and Liewood make us a bit of a destination.
Where do you source products for Molly Meg? I source from creative designers and manufacturers in all different countries from Europe and further afield. Many items are handmade by the designers themselves and by skilled artisans.
What makes Molly Meg shop unique? I work with various talented designers and innovators to create innovative and original design that is not readily available elsewhere. I host numerous workshops where children and parents can learn and take inspiration from designers and develop their creative skills.
Who are your customers? We have a loyal local customer base as well as well as a strong following online with customers all over the world.
How has the internet impacted your business? I started the shop online eleven years ago and built the business slowly whilst working full time as a designer. I had a strong customer base online and through various exhibitions and pop up shops this gave me the exposure , experience and confidence to then invest and promote opening my own bricks and mortar shop in London five years ago.
How have you adapted Molly Meg’s business to the coronavirus pandemic? During lockdown whilst the store was closed we did all business online, but I also offered free local personal delivery and I either dropped off packages by car or on foot to help avoid postage delays and try to offer local customers a speedy service. We also offered free gift wrapping and messaging for all orders so customers could send gifts to friends and family that they couldn’t see in person. Arts and craft, party supplies and home decoration goods were very popular during lockdown. Since re-opening I have cleared the shop and tried to make the store as easy and safe to shop as possible.
Molly-Meg Price, shopkeeper at Molly Meg.
Who inspires you? I am lucky to meet and work alongside so many creative people that inspire me daily.
What inspires you? New ideas, visiting places, going to antique markets, seeing new talent at tradeshows and online and beautifully made product.
Before I was a shopkeeper... I have always worked in the children’s world and within design. I worked as a children’s clothing designer in New York and the UK.
Why did you open your shop? I always wanted to run my own a shop (a sweet shop as a kid) where I could meet customers and work along side creative people. I started out selling a personal collection of vintage children’s chairs, many miniature versions of adult classics by famous mid century modern designers. After numerous pop up shops and workshops I found the right premises and had the confidence to open a permanent store in North London
Did you have prior retail experience? Yes, but in the head offices of large retailers which is quite different however the experience was invaluable.
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? The daily interaction with customers and creatives and being my own boss. The shop is very much an extension of me and I put my heart and soul into it. We are part of the community. Being close to customers and seeing which products and ideas work first hand and getting feedback first hand and being able to react quickly.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Start online, start small and build a customer base. Keep your overheads low. Study the location before taking on a premises. Location doesn’t have to be be prime but the right spot for your business is important.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be.. A product designer.
What are your favorite local independent businesses? On Essex road there is a really good fishmonger, baker and butcher which have been there since I was a child. They have queues around the corner at weekends. We have a very good coffee shop on the corner which opened just before lock down and has been a lifeline for people having their daily walks. Ray stitch Fabric shop is just over the road from us and Present and Correct stationery store is close by. Theres a great second hand shop down the road called Mr Allsorts and a fantastic puppet theatre called the little Angel Theatre just around the corner. I like shopping in Coal drops yard there are a few great independent shops there including earl of East and Cissy Wears.
What are your favorite shops? The Bazaar , London’s modern craft fair held every 6 months; Present and Correct , Islington; Klei in Netil Market; Sideline , online; Annual Store in Lincolnshire; Young Double in Leicester and Triangle on London’s Chatsworth Road.
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
"I think there will continue to be more shopping from home and I have noticed a shift in more people shopping locally and appreciating their local businesses during the pandemic. The two sides of the business go hand in hand supporting each other but the shop will have to evolve to offer even more experiences that are not readily available online."